Orioles highlights: With most of regulars, Birds lose 8-4 to Phillies to stay winless

CLEARWATER, FLA. — Manager Buck Showalter brought much of his front-line batting order to Bright House Field on Wednesday, but the song remained the same.

The Orioles have yet to win a Grapefruit League game this spring and Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Darin Ruf made sure that his team would not be their first victim. He hammered two homers and drove in three runs to lead the Phillies to an 8-4 victory that left the Orioles with an 0-9-1 exhibition record.


Newly signed starting pitcher Yovani Gallardo made his first spring start and got mixed results, allowing three runs in the first inning – two of them on Ruf's first homer – but came back to retire the Phillies in order in the second. He threw 35 pitches, 19 of them for strikes.

Manny Machado pulled the Orioles back into the game with his first home run of the spring, jumping on a 3-0 pitch to hit a two-run shot off Phillies starter Alec Asher in the third. Journeyman outfielder Xavier Avery also had a big afternoon, singling ahead of Machado's blast and delivering a two-run homer of his own in the eighth inning.


The Orioles host the New York Yankees at Ed Smith Stadium on Thursday. Tyler Wilson will start for the Orioles against right-hander Bryan Mitchell.

Joseph throws down

The Phillies spent much of the afternoon testing the arm of Orioles backup catcher Caleb Joseph and had to come away impressed.

Joseph threw out Carlos Ruiz trying to steal in the first inning. He also caught Taylor Featherston to end the fourth and – since the Phillies obviously were not yet convinced that he has one of the better arms in the league – threw out Odubel Herrera to end the fifth.

Two years ago, Joseph threw out 40 percent of the runners who attempted to steal on him after he replaced injured Matt Wieters as the regular catcher. He wasn't quite so impressive last year, but did pick off a respectable 33 percent.

Davis jumps on the bus

Showalter met his obligation to bring a minimum number of regulars to Clearwater for Wednesday's game … and then some.

First baseman Chris Davis was not on the original manifest, but asked his manager if he could go on the trip.

"He said he wanted to get some more swings," Showalter said. "I said, 'OK, the bus leaves at 8:45.'"

Kim still searching for first hit

Hyun Soo Kim can't catch a break and it seems as if there's someone right there to catch just about anything he lays his bat on. Kim now has gone 21 at-bats this spring without a hit, though it has not been for a lack of contact. He has struck out only three times.

On Wednesday, he lined out to deep left in his first trip, then was out when Ruf made a great snag to pick off a bad-hop bouncer wide of first base. He flied out to right field in his final at-bat.


O's have double-digit K day

Asher was overpowering at times. He struck out five batters over the course of his three innings and Phillies pitchers combined to whiff 10 Orioles hitters. That's got a chance to happen a lot this year, with the Orioles adding two more free swingers in Mark Trumbo and Pedro Alvarez to a team that ranked fifth in the major leagues in total strikeouts last year.

The Orioles ranked 24th in the league in on-base percentage (.307) last year and went into the winter intent on improving that, but both of their major offensive acquisitions have career OBPs right around that number.

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